Deciding to do couples therapy is a big decision. You and your partner are having difficulties in your relationship and hope that you can resolve these issues with the help of a therapist.
But how do you know if a particular therapist is right for you and your partner? Here are some questions you can ask a potential couples therapist to help you decide.
74 Questions you can ask a couples therapist:
- What is your experience with treating couples?
- Do you have experience treating couples with our particular problem?
- What’s your approach to therapy?
- What could we expect to achieve in therapy?
- What can we expect to happen in each session?
- How long will it take to see results?
- What are the costs involved?
- What are your qualifications?
- What are your theoretical orientation and/or therapeutic model?
- What is your style as a therapist?
- Do we need to come in together or can we come in separately?
- Will our sessions be confidential?
- How frequently will we need to meet?
- What are your office hours?
- What happens if one of us needs to cancel a session?
- What is your policy on extending therapy beyond the original number of contracted sessions?
- Are you comfortable discussing sex and sexuality within the context of our relationship?
- Would you be willing to provide us with additional resources (books, articles, etc.) outside of our sessions?
- Do you have any recommendations for resources or outside support groups?
- How do you think therapy can help us improve our relationship?
- If we come to therapy, what objectives would you like us to focus on achieving?
- What challenges do you think we will face during therapy and how will you help us overcome them?
- What do you think are the most important factors for a successful marriage or relationship?
- What do you think are the biggest challenges facing marriages and relationships today?
- What are some of the most common issues that you see couples struggle with?
- How do you think couples can overcome these issues?
- How do you think affairs happen?
- What are the main goals of couples therapy?
- How long will it take to achieve these goals?
- How do you handle designing treatment goals with couples?
- Do you assign “homework” between sessions? If so, what does that look like?
- What is your fee structure? Do you accept insurance?
- Do you see marriages/relationships of all types in your practice (e.g., same-sex, interracial, interfaith)?
- Do you have any particular expertise in working with our culture or background?
- In what ways have you been influenced by your own experiences with marriage/relationships?
- What do you think is the most important predictor of divorce?
- Tell me about a time when you saw a couple dramatically improve their relationship. Conversely, tell me about a time when treatment was unsuccessful.
- Do you have any experience working with jealousy issues? Infidelity issues? Anger management issues?
- Do you see more women or men in therapy for marital problems? Why do you think that is? And how does that affect your treatment style/approach?
- How do power dynamics affect marriages and relationships? In what ways do they show up in therapy?
- How does family-of-origin stuff impact current relationships?
- How does childhood trauma (such as abuse or neglect) play out in adult relationships?
- Should we be best friends with our spouse/partner?
- Do you have any tips for communicating effectively with a partner?
- What are some of the biggest obstacles to a healthy relationship?
- What do you think are the most important ingredients for a lasting relationship?
- What are some of the signs that a relationship is in trouble?
- What do you think are the biggest causes of relationship problems?
- What are some of the warning signs that a relationship is headed for trouble?
- How can couples prevent their relationship from falling into a rut?
- What do you think is the most important thing for couples to remember when they are going through tough times?
- What would you say is the best way to deal with conflict in a relationship?
- What are some of the biggest mistakes that couples make when it comes to communication?
- What if we need to cancel or reschedule an appointment?
- What if we start to see results and then stop coming to therapy?
- What if we decide that we want to end therapy?
- How will we know if therapy is working?
- What are some of the challenges that you see with our relationship?
- What do you think are our strengths as a couple?
- What are some things that we can do to improve our relationship?
- What are some of the communication problems that we have?
- What are some of the conflict resolution skills that we need to work on?
- What are some of the ways that we can show more empathy for each other?
- What are some of the ways that we can better support each other?
- What are some of the ways that we can better connect with each other?
- What are some of the things that we can do to build trust in our relationship?
- What are your thoughts on intimacy in relationships?
- What are your thoughts on finances in relationships?
- What are your thoughts on sex in relationships?
- What can I do to support my partner during therapy?
- What should I do if I’m feeling like giving up on therapy?
- What are the signs that my relationship is unhealthy?
- How can I tell if my relationship is worth saving?
- What are some red flags that indicate a need for couples therapy?
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you talk about in couples therapy?
Couples therapy is usually about the couple’s relationship and how to improve communication and intimacy. Therapists may help couples discuss difficult issues, resolve conflicts, and restore trust. They may also provide guidance on coping with stressors in the relationship and improve overall satisfaction.
How do you know if couples therapy is working?
One way to measure success is to look at how the couple communicates with each other outside of therapy. Are they still arguing? Do they still not understand each other? If the answer is yes, the therapy may not be working. It is also important to look at how happy the couple’s overall. Are they happier since they started therapy? Are they more satisfied with their relationship? If the answer is no, the therapy may not be working. Ultimately, it is up to the couple to decide for themselves whether therapy is working for them.
Can a therapist tell you to break up with someone?
Although it is not usually part of a therapist’s duties to tell a patient to break up with someone, there may be instances when this is considered an appropriate measure. If a therapist feels that a patient is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, they may advise the patient to end the relationship. This is done to protect the patient and to ensure that they receive the treatment and support they need.
Can therapy help a relationship?
Yes, therapy can help a relationship, but it depends on the couple. If both are willing to work on their relationship and open up to the therapist, therapy can be very helpful. However, if one person is not interested in working on the relationship or doesn’t want to open up, then therapy will not be very helpful.
By asking these questions of a potential couples therapist, you can make sure you find the right person for you and your partner. Therapy is an important decision, and if you take the time to ask these questions, you’re more likely to find a therapist who can help you improve your relationship.
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